KOBE PRO-WRESTLING FESTIVAL 2020
NOVEMBER 15, 2020
KOBE WORLD KINEN HALL, KOBE, JAPAN
Watch: Dragongate Network
Meet our Previewers
- Mike Spears (@fujiiheya): Co-Host of Open the Voice Gate and Everything Elite. Determined to get through the Dragon System’s biggest month in its history if it drives him insane.
- Jon Hernandez (@fatmansalright): Everytime Jon sees tweets about the CMA’s he thinks they’re about CIMA at first, and honestly, a lot of them could be.
- Ricardo (@wallyrgr): Ready for God Skywalker to start a new age in Dragongate. Follow Ricardo’s Twitter for more DG love and tons of cool documentary recommendations.
- Paul (@darth_dragon): Is ready for the biggest show of the year from the promotion of the year. Don’t follow him on twitter.
Open the Brave Gate Championship Match
Keisuke Okuda (c) vs. Kaito Ishida
Mike: Match four of the 2020 Feud of the Year kicks off the show, with Kaito Ishida getting a chance to reclaim the title he lost only two weeks ago. This is exactly the kind of stuff that I like from DG this year: It revs up the crowd, puts on a “top that” note, and extra eyes on it since it’ll be the free match on YouTube. I’m of the belief that there’s probably more for Ishida to do now away from the division/as we move into 2021 than as a part of it, and there’s a world of fresh defenses to close out 2020 for Okuda, so I think he evens out the all-time series at two apiece. PREDICTION: Okuda
Jon: If you’ve been following these previews during this recent slew of big Dragongate shows, you already know that a singles match between Ishida and Okuda is can’t-miss stuff. Their match at Gate of Destiny lived up to the hype, but may have still left you feeling like they had more up their sleeves. The opening slot at Kobe World seems like the perfect time to shake those sleeves out. Both men brandish a distinctly violent “stop he’s already dead” style of offense that stands in the face of dummy perceptions of DG as a tope factory. It’s no mistake these two are kicking things off, it’s a very deliberate statement to new and older viewers alike. With the rate the company’s elevating young talent at, one can assume Ishida’s destined for bigger things, Okuda more than capable of continuing the Brave Gate’s run of deservedly hyped defenses. PREDICTION: Okuda
Ricardo: Okuda vs. Ishida at Gate of Destiny was heated and all-around awesome, but it was quite short. I’m hoping they will have at least 15 minutes to improve on that and give us a Match of the Year Contender here. As Mike and Jon already said, this is the perfect spot to showcase what Dragongate is all about right now: young, talented athletes involved in a fierce rivalry brimming with storytelling. Picking a winner is very tough. Ishida is ready to move on to bigger and better things but it would be weird to see him lose two big matches in such a short period of time. I guess I’ll pick him to have another run. PREDICTION: Kaito Ishida.
Paul: This has been the best feud of the year by a country mile and these two just had a low key match of the year contender a few weeks ago. As such my expectations for this match are sky high and I am sure both men will be motivated to have their best performance at the biggest show of the year. This is going to be an intense physical fight. I do expect Ishida to get the title back here as it will be fuel to the fire for the Eita storyline. PREDICTION: Kaito Ishida
Battle Royal – The winner of this match will earn the right to ask for the in-ring related wish of their choosing
Featuring Super Shisa, Konomama Ichikawa, Shachihoko Boy, Gamma, Boku R Shimizu, Punch Tominaga, Problem Dragon, Diamante, H・Y・O, Ho Ho Lun & Jimmy
Mike: Instead of doing the inconsequential openers or first few matches to get everyone on the show, we’ve got a battle royal where someone can call their shot afterwards. Usually this is the kind of match where you pick the most prominent person in the match (Shimizu), but the wish opens it all up. Diamante’s making his return after an elbow injury pulled him from early November shows (which is a shame, he’s arguably the most improved wrestler in the world this year), and with Shimizu and Gamma are the most prominent people. Since we have the wish stipulation, I can see this going to Tominaga where he wants a Brave or Twin Gate shot coming out of this and that helps out cards later this month. PREDICTION: Punch Tominaga
Jon: This is a really fun lineup, and the Dragongate style of battle royal format allows the likes of Shisa, Shachihoko Boy and Jimmy to get their shit in in a memorable way before they’re punted aside. The Shimizu/Punch combination is improbably becoming one of my favorite acts to watch, and it seems logical that one of them would win. Let me remind you though, that Shimizu’s been eating pins for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the leadup, and you’re all sleeping on the hero who’s going to feed him one more. PREDICTION: Stalker, baby. Konomama Ichikawa
Ricardo: With a new Dream Gate reign on the horizon, what if the company is preparing to present a new faction? Maybe whoever wins this will want to join this new group. Or maybe Jimmy could use the win to get elevated. Maybe Diamante gets the win as a reward for his enormous improvemen. Maybe Ho Ho Lun uses the wish to retire and focus on his burgeoning and charming announcing career. Those are fantastic scenarios, but I’m going with logic and say that Boku R Shimizu is winning this to challenge for a championship and try to get out of the geek zone. PREDICTION: Boku R Shimizu
Paul: Should be a fun match overall and the stipulation actually gives it some weight. Though most of the people in this match are the bottom feeders of the roster so I am not sure how seriously they can be taken to win this. I do expect there to be quite a bit of comedy though and it appears fairly obvious now that the Company has no interest in pushing Shimizu, which is a shame. But given how many talented youngsters Dragon Gate has it seems that he has simply been passed by. Diamante has done very well this year and has come leaps and bounds from where he used to be. He wins this and then either asks for a title shot or a singles match with Ultimo. PREDICTION: Diamante
Maraha Isappa (Genki Horiguchi & Ryo Saito) vs. Taketo Kamei & Madoka Kikuta
Mike: As SBK has moved on from his rookie placement, the two remaining healthy members of the Class of 2020 get to face one of the most enduring tag teams in Dragongate history. The real exciting thing about DG doing this match, versus basically every other Japanese promotion, is that Dragongate is willing to elevate their rookies near immediately and make them matter sooner rather than later. Kikuta and Kamei started to pick up falls in September and October, so weirdly enough, this isn’t a no-doubter vets win match. This feels like a position to get the kids a big win and set them up for the next while whereas Horiguchi mostly teams with Susumu Yokosuka nowadays and Ryo Saito is neck deep in Team Boku shenanigans. PREDICTION: Kamei & Kikuta
Jon: With the departure of Kento Kobune from the rookie squad, it seems their hot streak has come to an abrupt end. The Kamei/Kikuta duo were beaten handily at this month’s Korakuen, and Kikuta took the fall in a tag with Ultimo Dragon two days later at KBS Hall. That said, I’m not sure anything is gained from a Saito/Genki win, so this is a coin toss to me. I’m mostly here for Ryo Saito – who’s proven as recently as King of Gate that he’ll still turn out a total goddamner if need be – being back in a big show match that isn’t based around laughs. He and Horiguchi are here to continue the rocket trajectory DG’s placed this crop of rookies on. With Kamei’s instantly eye-catching acrobatics and Kikuta’s combination of size and strikes, it won’t be difficult for this match to overdeliver. PREDICTION: Horiguchi & Saito
Ricardo: Kamei and Kikuta were beaten to a pulp in the last Korakuen Hall show and after the shock of losing his peer and teammate Kobune to the dark side, maybe their confidence is low. However, this is Kobe World and I think the company will want to highlight the talent of their rookies by giving them a big win against a pair of beloved veterans. Ryo Saito is eating the pin here and I would bet Kamei is winning it for the team. PREDICTION: Kamei & Kikuta.
Paul: The Dragon Gate rookie class of 2020 will go down as one of the best in history across all promotions. Their development has been spectacular and hopefully Kamei and Kikuta don’t get overshadowed by the meteoric rise of SBK. Horiguchi and Saito are the perfect team for the rookies to get a win over. They are established veterans that are rapidly dropping down the card as they should be at this stage of their career. Yet they still have enough credibility to make this a statement win for Kamei and Kikuta. Wouldn’t be surprised if they get a title shot fairly soon after this. PREDICTION: Kamei & Kikuta
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Special 8 Man Tag Team Match
Ultimo Dragon, Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii & TARU (Freelance) vs. Susumu Yokosuka, Yasushi Kanda, K-ness. & Taro Nohashi (Michinoku Pro Wrestling)
Mike: TARU and Taro Nohashi, two Dragon System members from way back, make a return appearance at Kobe World. I generally like seeing Nohashi around, but I got my fill of TARU at the Toryumon Reunion show this January so I dread if he’s going to stick. TARU did manage to have the longest VTR ever at Gate of Destiny, where he managed to throw bombs at the two major members of the previous regime, so he’s not holding back in one fashion. I figure Ultimo’s team wins. Ultimo’s team usually wins in matches on big shows. My big hope is that we keep our TARU exposure to a minimum. PREDICTION: Dragon, Mochizuki, Fujii & TARU
Jon: Most of my exposure to TARU and Taro Nohashi comes from a T2P binge a few months ago and a 2006 Chikara tag tournament, respectively. And you know what? I think I got my fill. I’m just here for when Susumu and Mochizuki fight. You have to promise me that Susumu and Mochizuki will fight. PREDICTION: Dragon, Mochizuki, Fujii & TARU
Ricardo: Ultimo Dragon in a big show on a big match featuring a nostalgic comeback. His team is getting the win. I just hope we get lots of Mochi & Fujii badass action here. PREDICTION: Dragon, Mochizuki, Fujii & TARU
Paul: The outcome of this match is pretty much set in stone. There is no way Ultimo is losing at Kobe World and given that no one on the other side is getting pushed makes it a near certainty he will get the pin here. This will be a best of match where everyone will get to hit their signature spots but there won’t be much to it beyond that. Maybe we’ll get a Diamante and Ultimo confrontation afterwards if they want to go down that route. PREDICTION: Ultimo, Mochizuki, Fujii and TARU
Special Singles Match
Dragon Dia vs. Dia Inferno
Mike: After this feud dominated DG for most of this fall, we are finally getting Dia vs Inferno one-on-one. I am still of the belief that Dia Inferno is here for a good time, and not a long time, but I don’t see this getting blown off in the first match up. Inferno has started to find himself in matches and him and Dia have the chemistry to make a singles match work. My only question about this match, this feud, and really Inferno in general, is I don’t know if the Inferno character is over enough with the local fans to put this match over the edge. Dragongate crowds are willing to bend regulations to get their opinion known in the COVID era and most Inferno interactions, other than his debut, have been received with silence. Maybe he works as he gets away from R.E.D. and in a Dia vs Dia context. I’m assuming that Inferno either does an mask rip/roll up, maybe gets DQd, or just dominates Dia in this first match and we get a more suitable blow off (apuestas at Final Gate?) before too long. PREDICTION: Dia Inferno
Jon: The very existence of this match is so wild when you consider that at last year’s Kobe World, Dia’s match was a pre-show multiman tag. At the end of 2019 his push was in its early infancy. Now, even after having lost a few months to COVID, he steps into a prominent Kobe World singles match as a major player — and he’s even spawned an evil counterpart! That good vs. evil dynamic, no matter how on-the-nose it’s played, still pays huge dividends in a wrestling ring, especially with players as gifted as Dragon Dia. Even up through the 11/12 KBS Hall show, the two have kept on finding creative ways to contort themselves mid-flight into offensive maneuvers. If you’re of the belief that it’s actually a returning Yuki Yoshioka under the mask, it should come as no surprise that Dia Inferno can keep up. I have to believe the true blowoff for this feud is worth more than a zero-stipulation match fifth from the top, so I’m going with Dia Inferno. PREDICTION: Dia Inferno
Ricardo: I’m not worried about the in-ring quality, I’m worried about the atmosphere. As Mike said, crowds have not responded well to Inferno and that might hamper the overall match. However, the rivalry is fascinating and this is definitely not the blow-off so I’m thinking this will be a set-up for a future Lucha de Apuestas match. Their goal is to convince skeptics about the feud and the Inferno character. They certainly have the wrestling skills to do that. PREDICTION: Dia Inferno
Paul: I am not sure yet how I feel about this match. In theory, I like the idea of giving Dragon Dia a dark counterpart for him to overcome. On the other hand its just a rehash of the Dragon Kid and Darkness Dragon story. Dia Inferno with his big goofy rubber dragon head also hasn’t gotten over in the slightest, which is going to hurt this match. Given who is likely below the massive shitty mask the match itself should be good but the question is whether it will be enough to win over a likely very cold crowd. While it could see them try and prolong the feud I think they will just punt on the angle here and give Dia a win at their biggest show. PREDICTION: Dragon Dia
Special 6 Man Tag Team Match
Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino & Toru Owashi (Freelance) vs. Dragongate Generation (YAMATO, Kzy & Strong Machine J)
Mike: When recording Open the Voice Gate this week, my co-host Case Lowe brought up a really salient point: Doesn’t it kind of feel like that these guys should be doing something more fitting at a Kobe World? Does it feel like these were the leftovers from the big plans so lets get them all in one match? We’ve got three of the four remaining members of the Big Six in this match! DoiYoshi teaming one last time at Kobe World! Most of the frontline players of the Dragongate Generation! It’s just wild. I feel like this match will tell us a lot about how the company feels about Strong Machine J. SMJ was booked more strongly than any other rookie in the company’s history, and this is yet another return from him “getting repairs” (SMJ has a troublesome shoulder that’s had him out a lot). If the finish is SMJ over Yoshino or Owashi, then their belief in him continues unabated. If Doi gets the fall on SMJ, maybe they’re taking a step back with SMJ until they can trust his shoulder again. I find it remarkable that Dragongate has such confidence in their youngest wrestlers that they’re putting their most reliable draws on before intermission, but with YAMATO in this match, I assume he’s being kept strong and getting the fall for his team. PREDICTION: Dragongate Generation
Jon: I think what’s most interesting about this match is its implications for the rest of the card. This is four of the company’s biggest names. This is likely the last Kobe World for Masato Yoshino, and therefore the iconic DoiYoshi pairing. This is Kzy, in the midst of push that’s included a new look, new entrance theme and a run of special singles matches that’s included two Dream Gate challenges. And this is all coming before the meat and potatoes of the card, the title matches that follow it – all of which prominently feature fresh blood. To me, this is less about the return of Owashi than it is representative of a fearless changing of the guard. Still, Owashi mixing it up with these three should be a fun watch. Kzy pins Yoshino. PREDICTION: Dragongate Generation
Ricardo: I’m happy to see Owashi here and I hope he gets the time to exchange lariats with SMJ or some nasty moves with KZY. However, the real focus should be Yoshino. If this is Yoshino’s final Kobe World appearance, then why does this feel like such a throwaway match? This goes against the current DG ideology of pushing rookies, but I think that DoiYoshi is going to get the spotlight and SMJ is eating the pin (he’s always hurt!). By the way, DG better not mute Owashi’s entrance theme (although he will probably enter with the Toryumon music). PREDICTION: Doi, Yoshino & Owashi.
Paul: This is basically the match involving everyone that is pushed that the Company did not have plans for at Kobe World. Hopefully, Yoshino delays his retirement far enough into 2021 for him to have a proper send off match at next year’s Kobe World. Should be a fun match though as these guys are pretty good at the Dragon Gate six man tag formula. I suppose this match is essentially going to be a number 1 contenders match for the triangle gate so unless Owashi sticks around for that I expect Yamato’s team to win. PREDICTION: Yamato, Strong Machine J & KZY
Open the Twin Gate Championship Match
Dragongate Generation (Kota Minoura & Jason Lee) (c) vs. R.E.D. (BxB Hulk & KAI)
Mike: I have truly adored this Minoura and Lee tag team. If it’s not my tag team of the year, it at least makes my top whatever for 2020. Dragongate decided to reward Jason Lee’s years of exemplary work on the undercards with a title reign, and rocket pack Kota Minoura up the card just as he turned 21. The end result has been a team that has been an absolute delight and a breath of fresh air. Fresh air from what? Well two years of BxB Hulk, KAI and YAMATO dominating the Twin Gate picture. They’ve excelled in fresh title defenses against combinations of Susumu Yokosuka, Genki Horiguchi and Dragon Kid this summer and fall, but it feels like this is coming to an end. There’s probably other defenses they could have, but the logical decision is Hulk and KAI getting the belts here. It’s a bummer, Lee’s ceiling is probably Twin Gate champion and Minoura is really impressive in this role, but these belts seem fated to be around Hulk and KAI in the near future. PREDICTION: R.E.D.
Jon: It’s easy to look at BxB Hulk in 2020 and lament what injuries have done to a man who once moved around the ring like a hungry, rabid Gumby. I choose to celebrate the way the Hulk’s grasped his limitations and become a completely different type of asset to the roster. Back at Memorial Gate in August, in the match that served as the coronation of the Minoura/Lee team, BxB Hulk put on a certified master class in getting a young team over. I think that performance factors heavily into why we all think this Minoura/Lee team is so special. The other big factor is that, well, they are. They’ve arguably stolen the show every time they’ve fought for these titles, and old booking patterns be damned, I refuse to believe the rest of the company doesn’t see it too. To evoke a little Olivia Newton-John, my head is saying, “Ooh, Mike’s probably right.” My heart is saying, “Don’t let go.” PREDICTION: Minoura & Lee
Ricardo: Minoura and Lee have been exceptional. Three great title matches (including a personal MOTY Contender) have positioned them as one of 2020 best tag teams and it’s been particularly satisfying to see Jason Lee finally getting the recognition he deserves. Unfortunately, I just can’t see them getting past this show as champions. DG is pushing the Hulk/KAI storyline and even used a whole match at Gate of Destiny to set them up as a team. During the summer, BxB Hulk worked very hard to get Kota Minoura over. Thank you for that Hulk, but now get lost. I’m very upset at the thought of having this broken shell of a man as champion instead of my beautiful Jason Lee. PREDICTION: BxB Hulk & KAI
Paul: KAI actually has been a ton of fun as a heel but his pairing with Hulk is somewhat holding him. Much has been made already about the regression of BxB Hulk but it truly is a shame to see. On the other side of the match we have one of the best teams of the year. Minoura and Lee have been a revelation as a team. Minoura especially is really coming into his own now and its easy to see that he has the potential to be Yamato’s successor. Being in a team with Lee is the perfect spot for him right now as it gives him space to grow while not being in danger of being overshadowed by his partner. Lee as always delivers when the Company gives him a push and its a bit of shame that he likely won’t ever get a serious singles run. While I would for Lee and Minoura to lose the belts I think their reign comes to an end here to further the RED storyline. PREDICTION: R.E.D.
Open the Triangle Gate Championship Match – 3-Way Match
R.E.D. (Takashi Yoshida, Kazma Sakamoto & SB KENTo) (c) vs. Toryumon Generation (Dragon Kid, Shuji Kondo & Kagetora) vs. Dragongate Generation (Ben-K, Yosuke♡Santa Maria & U-T)
Mike: It’s remarkable that in a three-way unit war, that this is the most high profile three-way match this year for Dragongate. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into with the Triangle Gate match, and this is the match that I believe has the most variance in its quality. All nine of these wrestlers should excel in the Dragon System trademark match (and for most of them, have the history of doing that), it’s just hoping that we see the best of them in Kobe. SB KENTo (or SBK as seen on his hat or drilled into our head via his chant) turned 20 years old in February and will be in the semi main event of his first-ever Kobe World. That’s just preposterous and the only other places you see things like this is in Joshi when someone might be in a similar position. It’s also Dragongate being rewarded for the care they put into their training regimen and their dojo. U-T and Shuji Kondo have recently matched up a bunch on the go-home Korakuen and Kyoto KBS Hall shows, and it’s almost infuriating how good their chemistry is for two guys who only have been in the ring with each other just now. I think SBK is going to lock someone, if not two people, in the SB Shooter and get the win for his goon squad. PREDICTION: R.E.D.
Jon: There are a few moving parts in play here. U-T’s mini-feud with Shuji Kondo has not only spiced up a few tag matches but also put some well-deserved spotlight back on the little guy. He’ll team with Ben-K who was designed and crafted in a lab to be the perfect hot tag in a DG-style multiman. Of course, the real story is the R.E.D. team and their young centerpiece, SB KENTo. Kento Kobune was already showing out as a very promising rookie in 2020. At Gate of Destiny, in the hour between his triumph in the opening match and his surprise reappearance as R.E.D.’s third man, he seemed to take a leap that would span years for most. Free of the shackles of rookie status, he’s validated suspicions of absolute star potential ever since that bell rang. He hasn’t let up in the Korakuen and Kyoto appearances that followed, seemingly just as apt with a mic in his hand as with an opponent’s hair. Here, he’s the focal point of the semi-main event at Dragongate’s biggest show of the year. You’re gonna want to pay attention to this one. PREDICTION: R.E.D.
Ricardo: This should be outstanding. Take Yoshida out of the equation and we’ve got a perfect combination of professional wrestlers capable of delivering a MOTY Contender. The chemistry of this Toryumon Generation team is off the charts and, as we saw during the last Korakuen show, Kondo and U-T have a little feud going on that will probably extend to this match, so it’s a guarantee we’ll have magical moments of violence. We also have the Rookie of the Year SB KENTo (I hate the new name) in the middle of a rocket pack push so it’ll be fascinating to see his role in the match. Will he be the big focus? Or will he be just a slimy heel? Either way, I think he’s getting the big win here. Also, if my other predictions are correct, Eita would end up without a championship while his peers are bathed in gold. This idea sounds fascinating to me and it’s the narrative I’m going for. PREDICTION: R.E.D.
Paul: SBK is tremendous and already a better worker than his likely American name inspiration ever was. If I have any criticism of Dragon Gate this year its that the generational war did not really take center stage as much as I would have thought. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of heat between Toryumon and Dragon Gate generation and most of the storylines this year have revolved around RED instead. That is the case here as both challenger teams have issues with the champion team but not with each other. Regardless though this match should be great. I expect this match to move at a crazy pace with loads of spots as well as RED shenanigans. SBK’s rocket pack push should continue here with yet another competitor being forced to tap out to his Scorpion Deathlock. PREDICTION: R.E.D.
Open the Dream Gate Championship Match
Eita (c) vs. Shun Skywalker
Mike: I will have a column either today or tomorrow talking more in-depth about this matchup and DG in general, but I just want to spend a moment talking about how Dragongate was planning for this for a long time. After Shun Skywalker elected to leave Mochizuki Dojo and go independent, Shun experienced set back after set back. Practically every major show had him in a singles match, and he came up on the losing end. When he teamed with Ben-K in a lone wolf tag team, it was always Shun taking the fall (Ben-K was also Dream Gate champ, which provides another wrinkle to this). After losing to Ben-K on the December 4, 2019 Korakuen, Shun departed for Mexico to better himself. He reappeared after the main event at Gate of Destiny, cleared the ring, and said that Eita wasn’t looking at his next challenger, he was looking at the next champion. Kobe World should be his coronation.
I don’t think this title reign hurt Eita, I just think it confirms who Eita is to Dragongate. He’s a solid player who will now have a Dream Gate reign and a King of Gate victory in his record book. This wasn’t a reign that damaged him or the title, it just was a right place and a right time for someone to have the belt and not be the biggest thing going in Dragongate. He just turned 29 and will be around, hopefully, for many years to come. He might have future Dream Gate runs, but for now, it time for him to pass the belt on to the Vaporwave King. PREDICTION: Shun Skywalker
Jon: Dragongate was already flaunting a dense and rapidly expanding roster before Shun Skywalker emerged from the darkness at Gate of Destiny like a glittery Batman. Now they’re just fuckin’ with us. And what a joy to see Shun back in front of a crowd after following him through the empty gyms and yards of COVID-ravaged Mexican indies. These shows have missed his springboards to the outside that seem to linger in the air just long enough for you to wonder whether it’s supposed to look like that or if you’re about to watch a man die.
I can’t help but be a little sad to see Eita’s reign end. He turned out inspired performances in his two title matches, and felt every bit the champion. He earned this main event and he’ll deliver again, but you can’t waste a perfectly executed return like Shun’s (down to keeping him off the shows that happened since) on a loss. Of course, Eita could always reject the result and refuse to concede the belt without any real basis. But that would be completely ridiculous, even for professional wrestling. PREDICTION: Shun Skywalker
Ricardo. Despite the pandemic and the amount of luchadores there are, I can confidently say that Shun Skywalker has been the best worker in Mexico in 2020. During his excursion, he was miles ahead of everyone and now he’s back in Japan. When he reappeared at Gate of Destiny he looked like a freaking God. The words, the physique, the crowd excitement, the presence. It’s all there and I’m ready for Eita’s transitional run to be over and crown Shun as new Dream Gate champion. PREDICTION: Shun Skywalker
Paul: I did have high hopes for Eita’s reign as Dream Gate champion after his tremendous title win over Naruki Doi back in August. But since then he has done little of consequence, he only got to defend the title once against KZY in a somewhat disappointing match. Worryingly he often did not even main event the shows he was on and instead was mostly relegated to the semi-main event. As I mentioned earlier given how many great young talents Dragon Gate some others will likely get passed by fairly quickly. Eita, unfortunately, seems to be a prime candidate for just that. His opponent here is one of the aforementioned talents and is likely to pass right by him in this match. Shun has all the tools necessary to become a main eventer in Dragon Gate and a win here would firmly establish him as such.
Signs of a possible Eita face turn have been popping up for a while now and once he does turn I do not expect him to be as far up the card as he was as a heel. With R.E.D. holding every belt except the Dream Gate after this show Ishida seems poised to finally stab Eita in the back and kick him out of the faction to rebrand it in his own image. PREDICTION: Shun Skywalker